Key facts of the case:
(Area of freedom, security and justice –Regulation (EC) No 44/2001 — Cooperation in civil matters — Jurisdiction — Prorogation of jurisdiction where the defendant enters an appearance — Court-appointed representative in absentia for the defendant — Article 47 of the Charter — Primacy of EU law)
Results (sanctions) and key consequences of the case:
71. I accordingly propose that the Court reply to the Oberster Gerichtshof as follows:
- Article 24 of Council Regulation (EC) No 44/2001 of 22 December 2000 on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters, read in the light of Article 47 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, must be interpreted as meaning that an appearance entered before a national court by a representative in absentia appointed for the defendant in accordance with national law cannot be deemed to constitute an appearance entered by the defendant for the purposes of Article 24 of that regulation.
- Within the scope of EU law, the principle of equivalence does not, in circumstances such as those of the case before the referring court, require national courts to make a reference to a constitutional court regarding the constitutionality of a national statute that they consider to be contrary to the Charter, with a view to having that statute generally struck down.
A provision of domestic law imposing such an obligation is not contrary to EU law, provided that it does not give rise to any abolition, suspension, diminution or deferral of the duty of the national court to apply the provisions of EU law and to ensure their full effectiveness — if need be, by refraining of its own motion from applying any provision of national legislation that is contrary to EU law — or of its right to make a reference to the Court for a preliminary ruling.